United States Immigration System
United States are one of the most desired destinations for immigrants in the world. It is famous for giving opportunity to everyone hungry for success and work. Everyone knows the moto “the land of endless opportunities”. For sure there is a reason for that and it stays for decades. It is proven that it is the most productive economy. Experts say that China will catch up in some years. In order to keep the country and its economic strong the government has designed a very complex immigration system.
There are several categories which are defining the paths and frames for accepting a person as an immigrant.
The first one is – Family-based immigration. This category allows US citizens to bring relatives to the United States. The applications are accepted if the person is immediate relative to a citizen or through family preference system. Immigrants should comply with some eligibility criteria and petitioners as well. The relatives must be spouses of US citizen, unmarried minor children under 21 or parents of US citizens 21+ years of age.
The second category is – Employment based immigration. The US allows different professionals with valuable skills to enter the country on a temporary or permanent visa. The temporary employment based visa allows the applicant to work for certain time in USA. On temporary visa the visa holder has limited chances to change his employer having in mind that the application is submitted by the hiring company. There are many visas in this category for high skilled employees and less skilled. The permanent category is limited to 140 000 per year and includes relatives of applicants.
The third category is: Per-Country Ceiling. This category sets limit to the number of immigrants from each country per year. This rule is created to prevent any group from dominating others in USA.
Refugees and Asylees category. This category is created to protect certain vulnerable people. In this category are people who cannot go back to their countries due to live threatening reasons. Refugees are admitted to US based on inability to return to their country due to race, membership in particular organization, religion or national origin. There is no cap of Asylees visas unlike refugee number which are limited by the President and the Congress.
The diversity visa program. Each year a lottery gives 55 000 visas to people from nationalities that send less than 50 000 immigrants in the previous 5 years to the USA. To be eligible for this visa the applicant should have high school education, in the past five years to have 2 years work experience in a professional field requiring at least 2 years of training.
Other forms of humanitarian relief. There are 2 sub categories in this group. Temporary Protected Status is granted to people that cannot return to their country because of natural disaster, arm conflict or other extraordinary condition. Deffered Enforced Departure provides protection to people who cannot return to their country because of some danger. Unlike the previous category /TPS/ which is authorized by the statute here it depends on the executive branch.
US Citizenship. Eligible people for citizenship must have LPR status or green card for at least 5 years.
There are other ways of acquiring citizenship as well. The applicant must be over 18, prove residency for long time, have good moral and other criteria.
More about US immigration system.